The Baltimore Orioles have added three players to the organization, signing right-hander Kyle Mertins, catcher Jim Vahalik and right-hander Luis Pardo to minor-league deals, reports Roch Kubatko of MASN in a series of tweets:
#orioles signed another player from American Association. RHP Kyle Mertins. According to tweet from SF Pheasants. They wouldn't lie— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 11, 2012
And yes, this one slipped past me. #orioles also signed Frontier League catcher Jim Vahalik last week. Minor league deal w/spring invite.— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 11, 2012
Ever hear of the Pecos League? Ever hear of the Trinidad Triggers? Well, the #orioles signed pitcher Luis Pardo from there. Now I'm done— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 11, 2012
All three players spent the 2012 season playing independent league ball, but Mertins and Pardo do have some previous experience in professional ball.
Mertins, 24, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2010 and played two seasons in the low minors before signing on with the Sioux Falls club in the American Association this past year. The right-hander posted a 1.00 ERA and 9.0 K/9 rate in 54 innings -- all in relief -- across 45 games.
The 2012 season was the first in independent ball for the 24-year-old Vahalik, who hit .244/.288/.312 in 78 games in the Frontier League. Vahalik also caught 35 percent of would-be base-stealers when behind the plate.
Pardo, 27, spent the 2007-2008 seasons in the Houston Astros' system before disappearing from baseball for a few years. The former 9th round pick resurfaced in Canada in 2011 and moved on to Colorado this past season, posting an unsightly 7.81 ERA in 13 starts with the Trinidad